Friday, December 31, 2010

Here's to promise!

I resist the feeling that inevitably comes to me on this day--that sort of panicked "I have to improve NOW! I have to improve greatly, this second! I have to correct every bad behavior!"

Don't misunderstand--I am all for self-improvement and quiet introspection. I just always feel that the more anxiety-inducing sides of those practices are being shoved down my throat this time of year. Urges to do everything under the sun IN THE NEW YEAR--as if this last year was total crap if we didn't do those things, and as if this next year won't matter either if we continue to be whatever it is we wish we weren't.

The darker sides of this New Year's attitude got to me recently, I'll admit, and I found myself lamenting the things I hadn't done in 2010. Lose weight. Put more pictures on the walls. Wake up at 7 and work out every day. Write more than once every three months. Blog more often. Get out of debt. The list goes on and on, and mirrors most common lists.

And then I wondered, what have I done this year? What is of note? And in this prayerful wondering of mine, I was flooded by all the little things I have done, and how they have changed me this year. Not just what I've done, either, but how our family has grown. It's unmistakable! I feel like we've turned a corner.

I don't change diapers anymore. (And I do remember a time when I never thought I'd be able to say that!)

Reed is 8, chose to be baptized (I am so proud), and a little more independent; his reading has blossomed unbelievably and his maturity is beginning to blossom, too. That makes my heart full and achy at the same time.

Jaxon knows more letters and numbers than I've taught him. He continues to improve at expressing his feelings--something that I waited for. His sense of humor has just risen off the charts, and he is a joy to be around.

And Savanna, well, she's potty-trained, and she's also very much a little girl and hardly a toddler anymore. That is strange and wonderful.

I myself have worked hard this year--and pretty intensely for a few months--to correct mistaken ideas I had, the kinds of ideas that can make a person very unhappy. Sometimes it feels like the slow progress of grinding wheat by hand, this sifting through my emotions and memories and facets of my spirit. But slowly and steadily, I have learned a few things that have been slowly reconstructing me, inside-out, and I feel closer to my Savior than I ever have. That alone is worth it to me--worth all the things I haven't yet accomplished, but continue to work on.

Eventually I'll be back into the swing of working out regularly. Eventually I will have a comfortable relationship with food and my body. Soon enough, my house will be clean most of the time. Someday I will write that book, and someday my photography business will shoot through the roof.

But for now, I'm going to continue at this same pace, still determined and still mindful of what I need to change, but in no way frenzied. Not panicked about the things I haven't done yet, because the word "yet" holds a lot of possibilities.

So if I'm going to promise anything this year, it is to to remember that word itself--promise. We have promise. We have possibilities.


Suzanne said...

I love the way you put things into perspective.
I think sometimes we get caught up in what the world wants us to change or to be, when really it's the gospel and the overwhelming, eternal happiness that comes with it, that we need to focus on.

I am always so inspired by you.

Abby said...

"I'm verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves."

When we were younger, if you had told me I would one day be learning things from you, I probably would have laughed in your face (in those not so great years we had where we just didn't get along...however is that possible?!). But...I am amazed at how much I learn from you. Truly. Thank you for this post. You've just articulated (so beautifully) thoughts that have been floating around in my head for the last couple of weeks in a jumble. This is what I've meant. Exactly. I love you Rae!!!

Qait said...

This is wonderful, Rae! I'm proud that you're my sister. :) You're humbly wise, and I'm sure more people than Abby feel like they learn from you!
I do! :D

Rae said...

Everyone, THANK YOU!